Foie Gras is the healthy liver of a healthy adult duck (or goose), reared using traditional methods : one-day old birds are kept in brooder houses until they are 4 to 5 weeks old.
As soon as they have grown a protective layer of plumage, they can circulate outside where they spend about two and a half months in a free-range environment. At the end of the rearing period, at about 12 weeks of age, the adult birds embark on a controlled phase-feeding programme. This lasts no more than 2 weeks. This allows the liver to create the fats which make it into Foie Gras.
Whether goose or duck, all tastes are catered for
Goose or duck Foie Gras? Raw or cooked? Fresh, partially cooked or preserved? Whole Foie Gras or in a block? If you are having trouble deciding, our guide will help you find the Foie Gras best suited to your tastes.
Today, the strongly flavoured duck Foie Gras is the most popular variety . However, the particular refinement and delicacy of goose Foie Gras mean it too has no shortage of enthusiasts.
A raw goose Foie Gras generally weighs between 600g and 700g while a raw duck Foie Gras usually comes in at between 450g and 600g. However, to be labelled FOIE GRAS, a minimum weight is required: 400g for a goose Foie Gras and 300g for a duck Foie Gras.
The colour must be uniform and unmarked, the texture is consistent and smooth and the Foie Gras is firm to the touch without being hard. Goose Foie Gras tends to be slightly pinker.
Three regulated appellations
The appellations for all Foie Gras-based preparations sold in France have been regulated since 1 January 1994. Only 3 appellations can be called "Foie Gras" when sold: these only contain Foie Gras and seasoning.
In addition to these 3 appellations, there are preparations based on goose or duck Foie Gras.
Parfait of Foie Gras has a minimum Foie Gras content of 75%. Pâtés, mousses, purées or galantine have a Foie Gras content of at least 50%.
Presentations depending on the cooking method
Within a single appellation, Foie Gras can be separated into two main categories, depending on the cooking method, which determines both their texture and shelf-life.
NB: The shelf-life is indicated by the producer. For instance, 6 months is a standard period but this may be longer or shorter depending on the type of heat processing. The producer's indications should therefore be taken fully into account.